Изображения страниц
PDF
[merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small]
[graphic][merged small][merged small]

1

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

?OLITICS in the Border Counties is as exciting as anywhere else in the Kingdom. I remember well my first introduction to the subject of the present sketch. As Mr. Marjoribanks he was fighting the Liberal cause in Berwickshire. In common with their seniors, young Earlston had caught the political contagion. We—most of us apprenticeswere bent on having some share in the growing excitement. We had hied us forth to the public, hall of the village where the candidate was to address that portion of his electorate. At first there was no admittance for the embryonic Whigs and Tories. A sturdy constable defied all progress. But luck unexpected came to the patient band and in we scrambled through the half-opened door-way. Scowling countenances pierced us from all parts of the building. We had intruded, I fear, with a boyish noise. We had burst in on thespeaker'seloquence. To our credit, however, let it be recorded, we sat quiet for the remainder of the meeting, and tried our best to look as if we too understood and enjoyed the inevitable " heckling." That is sixteen years ago. Mr. Marjoribanks has had since then a brilliant Parliamentary career. For fourteen years he held well his post in the Commons. He sits no more in that House where his toughest battles have been fought. He has changed his name but not his principles. The

strong and honest manfulness, with the cheery and breezy good nature so characteristic of him as Mr. Edward Marjoribanks are ever the same.

Perhaps no modern politician has had so many ties or inducements which might have bound him to the Conservative party, but Lord Tweedmouth in the earnest desire to do what he believes to be his duty, has chosen to abide by his first love. The Border Magazine does not intend to discuss politics. It means to give a wide berth to all partyisms. It is to treat of statesmen and of public men as it finds them in their relation to the Border country and their devotion to its welfare. So Lord Tweedmouth appears in these pages as a good Merse man whose heart is knit to Berwickshire and the Borderland by more than ordinary associations. The Right Honourable Edward Marjoribanks, second Baron Tweedmouth, was born on the 8th July, 1849. His father, Sir Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks, Bart., sat for the Borough of Berwick from 1853 to 1868, and again from 1874 until his elevation to the Peerage in 1881. He was educated at Harrow and Christ Church, Oxford, and called to the Bar in 1873. 'I ne same year he had the good fortune to secure for his wife Lady Fanny Octavio Louisa SpencerChurchill, third daughter of the sixth Duke of Marlborough, and sister of the late Lord Randolph Churchill, a lady who has proved herself a most worthy helpmeet to her honourable partner in all his onerous public duties, and whose devotion is none the less real to whatever things are lovely and of good report in their private and domestic life. Lady Tweedmouth is a model politician's wife. An indefatigable worker, she has rendered signal service to her husband and his friends during many busy and somewhat trying occasions of parliamentary experience. Possessed of many excellent qualities, and of a singularly amiable disposition, Lady Tweedmouth can hardly fail to win the esteem and the admiration of those who meet her whether in public or in private. In 1874, Mr. Marjoribanks unsuccessfully contested West Ham, but in 1880 was returned for Berwickshire, which he continued to represent

the Conservatives. Then again the county—. true to its old traditions—returned another Marjoribanks, who, whatever may be the divergence of opinion as to his political creed, has found a warm personal friendship from men of all classes, during his brief parliamentary con nection with them.

Under the Government of Mr. Gladstone Mr. Marjoribanks held several prominent offices. In 1886 he was appointed Comptroller of Her Majesty's Household. On Mr. Arnold Morley resigning the position of Chief Liberal Whip in August, 1894, Mr. Marjoribanks succeeded to the vacant post—certainly at that particular time an arduous, and exacting enough one. Sir William Harcourt remarked that he was the best

[graphic][ocr errors]

until succeeding to the Peerage at his father's death in 1894. It was natural that Mr. Marjoribanks should look to Berwickshire as a fair field on which to win his political spurs. The name of Marjoribanks was one to conjure with in the county. No memory is cherished with deeper respect by Berwickshire people than that of David Robertson of Ladykirk, Lord Marjoribanks. In 1859 he retrieved the broken hope of the Liberal cause which had been suddenly shattered twenty-six years previously through the untimely death of his brother. Charles. He represented the county till 1873. For the next seven years Major BaillieHamilton of Langton, held the constituency for

Whip the Liberal party ever had. To him are largely due its strength and solidarity. He was admitted by all sections of the House to be "a born Whip," and a "prince of organizers." "Whipping," writes a Member of Parliament who knows Lord Tweedmouth well, "is not always an agreeable office, for when tired legislators wish to withdraw from their labours the Whip has to enter his gentle remonstrance, and by appeals to the interests of the party and other methods to induce him to continue his wearied labours. When Mr. Marjoribanks was only second Whip he did this with a tact and "bonhomie" which one would hardly think possible if he is met only in a sterner mood.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »